Oh Fleetwood, to me you will always be synonymous with chicken teriyaki. Let me explain. I have the beginnings of a problem – a hoarding problem (Cat Girl now, Cat Lady tomorrow!). I feel just about terrible throwing anything away, even if I don’t really want it. I hate wasting. So when I didn’t finish my chicken teriyaki lunch, I got it packed up and put it in my backpack – I figured the dog would get a nice dinner. Sitting on the train, with my backpack in my lap, that chicken had other ideas. Backpack explosion ideas. As I stood up to depart at Fleetwood, I happened find teriyaki sauce all over my lap. I did manage to take some acceptable photos of Fleetwood, but I was somewhat more concerned about looking like an idiot, and smelling like a Japanese restaurant. And go figure, on the way home a person recognized me. “Hey, you’re the girl with that train site…” never came at a worse time. Now I have readers think that I never washed my clothes after returning from Japan.
In more on-topic seriousness though, Fleetwood is one of the Harlem Line’s train stations in the north side of the city of Mount Vernon. Along with the stations of Crestwood and Tuckahoe, Fleetwood has an Arts for Transit piece by California-born artist Arthur Gonzalez. All three are bronze figures, and in Fleetwood’s case, it is located in the overpass between the platforms. Titled Time Catcher, the piece was installed in 1990, and is a “a tribute to those who built the railroad.”
Thankfully, my chicken teriyaki nightmare is not the most horrible food-related Metro-North horror story I’ve heard. Besides the crazy folks that I’ve actually seen bringing buckets of fried chicken (with ziploc bags for the bones) on the train that I frequently jest about, the prize thus far goes to a Snickers bar. While eating the candy, a piece fell… somewhere. Unable to find it, and ultimately forgotten about, the candy piece happened to be on the seat – which someone then sat upon. When arriving at Grand Central, a friend took it upon themself to inform the unfortunate someone (who I will not name) that they may have had a little “accident” on the train. I guess smelling like food isn’t as bad as crapping your pants.
Perhaps this is a lesson to us all? Leave the food at home? And enjoy these old photos of Fleetwood, taken in the 80’s?
I grew up not very far from Fleetwood train station and commuted 4 years from that station into the city for school. I remembered when the “renovations” were done at Fleetwood train station but I don’t remember how the old station looked. Thanks for posting those photos from the 80s. I have clearly forgotten that once upon a time the overpass didn’t exist.
Cool, I am glad you liked them. Before those renovations were done there were photos taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey, which is where those pictures came from. If you check out this page: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/ you can search for Fleetwood and see more of those old photos.
Apparently a third track was added over the years. I remember once reading about a plan for a controversial third track but I don’t know whether it was the Harlem Line or not (but it was about MetroNorth as opposed to LIRR which has its own third track controversy). Has this come up in your research into the history of the line?
A third track was added a few years to Crestwood so more trains can run on the line.
Ah ha! So that’s why it’s called “Snickers”.
Ah, food on the train. One of my least favorite permitted activities. Why?
Because, for some reason, the food people bring on the train to eat (except for packets of chips and the like) mostly SMELLS AWFUL! And they sit near me with it. Why? There’s an app for that!
iQuery: where can I buy smelly food to eat on the train?
iReply: Try and and .
iQuery: And who can I sit near to get the most annoyment value from my odiferous food experience?
iReply: Old Geezer is normally in the head car near the head-end-most door.
And don’t even bring up the subject of noisy eaters! Slurping smelly food near me on the train! It’s enough to make one want to drive! They do it on the train because their SO won’t let them do it at home.
(Yes, I am a curmudgeon.)
Thanks for making Fleetwood look so much better than it actually is, and for information on the sculpture. I’ve passed it daily for a number of years now and didn’t know why or how it had come to be in our little corner of the world.
Discovered the blog today. LOVE it.
I live on the Yonkers side of Fleetwood Station and commute from there daily in the City. I have searched everyplace and cannot find why they named the station fleetwood when it was added to the line in the early 1920’s. Can anyone shed some light?
Back when I commuted from Fleetwood, in the ’50s and ’60s, the third track terminated just south of the station. It was used as a departure track for ‘extra’ morning trains to GCT. These trains were staged from the Mount Vernon west coach yard. If I rode one, I was late for work, having missed the 7:19 AM departure. Lucky I was the boss’ son, but still got chewed out…
Re: pictures 1,2, & 3. Fleetwood had a little newsstand, just at the foot of the stairs, in the EB side. The bridges pictured are Broad St., the Cross County Parkway, and the pedestrian overpass. In the distance is the RR bridge over the Bronx River, near the Bronxville line. It was designed for easy climbing! Wasn’t a good idea, I now think.